One of the biggest reasons I knew Mazama was the right place for me was that I knew how much I was going to learn at the bakery. I never took the initiative at Susina to learn how to make yeasted doughs, use a sheeter to roll out croissants & pastries and I never worked at a bakery that did legitimate bread.
Here, we make our own bagels by hand...
They make breakfast sandwiches out of them every morning-- sooo delicious.
Here, we make sticky bun dough by hand...
We make our monstrous cinnamon rolls by hand. These are currant walnut!
Topped with cream cheese icing of course...
They're soooo sinfully delicious, I've started labeling them as such when I proof my dough!
I made these at home using a mixture of all purpose & wheat flour (cause these bad boys need a little high gluten in there). My twin cousins are coming out on Monday to stay for six weeks, so I froze a batch for them. Just slice & bake... Soooo easy!!! (Sinceriously, LA... I can't WAIT to make these for you!!!)
It's just a mound of diabetes.
It truly is.
If ever I were to contract the 'bêtes...
I will know where it came from.
This is our little pastry case at the Mazama Store with a heart of gold! Very rustic & simple! Pastries usually sell out by 11am and they'll put loaves of bread out then. However, in summer-- it's scone city. It changes and they have more bakers on just cranking it out. Mulitudes of batches fly off the shelves like nobody's business. We have four bakers on for bread & pastries-- population 200? Who knew.
And noooow... let me tell you a beautiful story about our pastry dough. Get the tissues... Up in Washington, at the Mazama General Store... our croissants aren't flown in from some plant somewhere. They don't own a sheeter for mass production...
These croissants... are a THREE DAY PROCESS...
MADE BY HAND.
It is soooo incredibly exciting to make croissants from scratch. It's true artistry!!! I am SOOOO grateful I'm getting to learn this skill. We do a savory croissant-- usually ham and swiss. Today I made the most beautiful ham, cheddar and black pepper croissants... There were tears.
Relax, these aren't them. :)
And then we do a sweet croissant. Apricot Almond or Chocolate Almond... skies the limit really!
We also do these twists with our croissant dough. I'm sure a Danish purist would have a heart attack but if given the option between doughy Danish or crispy, rich, buttery pastry dough, I'll choose the more fattening option every time!!! They are crazy good. We also home make all of our fillings. This is a typical blueberry-- probably with a lemon glaze.
This is a blueberry cheese twist. My favorite that I do (cause you get to be as creative as you want) is a cherry almond. I do the twist, put in the cherry filling, sprinkle almonds around the outside and drizzle an almond cream cheese icing over it. DELICIOUS.
We also do a sky's-the-limit variety of scones!
These are fig scones. They get rolled like a cinnamon roll.
Have I ever mentioned I'm not a fan of fig?
But I am a fan of a pretty fig scone!
I'll regift it...
Our regular scones are not rolled. They are all cut together with a bench scraper by hand. This is a Maple Strawberry Almond Scone but you should see the blackberry scones! The bench scraper cuts the berries in half and creates this vivid gorgeous messy color throughout the scone. I remember working for a woman who would get so angry when any color got into the Mixed Berry Scones. I love the rustic look of these guys! I will take colorful, rich, rustic and vibrant over stodgy plain 'stay within the lines' scones any day!
These are some baked off blueberry scones. It kinda looks like someone didn't shape these right but oh well... See how the blueberry gets all chopped in there? The black/raspberry are a million times more gorgeous!
These are called Morning Glories. They're pastry dough sprinkled with flavored sugar, rolled up like a cinnamon roll, cut into pieces and stuffed into these square tins, baked off and lightly drizzled with icing.
I also appreciate that there is SUCH leeway for creativity. From flavors of scones & croissants to our 'afternoon delights' like the all natural strawberry cake I did (below), every day at the bakery is like an episode of 'Chopped.' What ingredients do I have in the fridge? What's on it's last legs? What did our neighbors bring us today in their overrun garden?
Everyone in Mazama gardens. They buy and support organic local and share with their co-workers their bounty. It's REALLY amazing. It's really delicious produce!!!
These are Fluffernutter and Salted Caramel Pecan brownies using Emmer Flour. Emmer Flour is an ancient grain-- I believe the second grain ever harvested by man, found in the Near East. There is a flour mill in Mazama called Bluebird Grain Farms that produces this incredibly rare grain. The brother of one of the ladies I work with runs the farm. He's actually going to attempt to harvest the oldest form of cultivated wheat-- Eincorn Grain. It's genetically the purest form of wheat you can harvest and therefore, easier for your body to digest. ("Finkel is Eincorn... Eincorn is Finkle!!???")
I had to miss a lecture he gave last week about the mill and where it's headed versus society's current harvest scene (I'm sure you can imagine is night & day) because I had to work so early. But when I told my co-worker how bummed I was, she told me in her raspy, weathered voice to 'Give him a call and stop by. Take a tour-- I'm sure he'd be happy to do it.'
Ummm... OKAY. ?????
All of this right down the street from where I live. AMAZING.
I eventually will be happy to get back to my family and friends but I LOOOVE living like this. Harvesting spinach, arugula and rhubarb out of the garden, making ginger ale using homemade syrup and carbonation stream... One of my aunt's friends is going to hike in the woods to harvest morels! Yum! Wild mushrooms! I think it's just the coolest way, aside from the physical toll it can take on a person, and honestly the right way to live life. Real hunters and gatherers... There's something special about it.... and Lemon Curd Coconut Cupcakes.
We do a lot of yolk & buttermilk egg washes so we're always trying to find new ways to use up egg whites. When I suggested egg white breakfast sandwiches the ladies I work with laughed at me. "Ha! The locals don't want that egg white crap! They want the real deal." The town will pass on anything too rich or decadent (anything with fruit is incredibly popular) but don't mess with the fat content of their breakfast sandwiches! I'm still learning... ;)
So Pavlovas it was!
Typically, Pavlovas have the fruit on top but I was told to do them this way so I did. Whatevs! I'm not a big meringue fan but these were perfect for summer. Berries with a hint of a marshmallow chew!
They also do these gorgeous rustic loaves. I don't have to do bread but before I go, I'm going to learn!!! :) :) :)
Don't they just make you want to churn your own butter!!??? :) :) :)
I'm sure there will be PLENTY more where this came from... But I wanted to share because it is PURE JOY knowing how to make my own croissants & cinnamon rolls, etc. , etc. So very lucky... :) :) :)
Have a good one, friends!!!